“We’re trying to bottle a feeling.”

The Quiet Visionary: Michael Shindler

Winemaker, A Sunday in August, Vancouver/Kelowna

Natural wine. Are there two words more likely to elicit passionate outbursts from those for and those against?

The idea of low intervention or natural winemaking has dominated the wine world lately, and as it makes its way into our corner of the oenological world, the debate is just as fierce. There are some who’d gladly drink vinegar if it were “natural” and others who will search out every minor flaw just to prove that adding sulphur to stabilize wine is the only way to go.

But up the middle we have Mike Shindler, indie-pop musician and now lo-fi winemaker, who waded right into this hotbed with the simple desire to “create wines that continually bring people joy.” Easier said than done in B.C.’s competitive market for quality—and, especially, organic—grapes. But word has gotten out, and each year production has increased such that his juicy, skin-contact pinot gris is now at 800 cases and no longer the unicorn it once was.

It’s joined by one of the freshest merlot/cabernet blends in the valley and a multitude of other passionate experiments in all things pure. “We’re trying to bottle a feeling,” says Schindler. “If we can continue to do that every year, we’re happy.”

Shindler with fiancée Sam Milbrath.

WL: Most underrated variety of wine?

MS: Lately, a lot of my friends have been a little down on Chardonnay, but I love it.

WL: What are you drinking this summer?

MS: Pét-nat.

WL: Best hangover cure?

MS: Jumping in the ocean.

2019 Foodies of the Year ▸▸▸